South Carolina has filed an Avandia lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmitheKline on the grounds that it allegedly employed deceptive marketing tactics when promoting the diabetes drug within the state.
The lawsuit's major claim is that GSK knew that Avandia increased patients' risk for heart attacks and cardiac death, but still publically claimed that the drug could actually reduce such incidents.
On the market in 1999, the Associated Press reports that the medical community began to take interest in 2007 when the New England Journal of Medicine evaluated dozens of studies on the diabetes medication.
All of them linked Avandia to an increased risk of heart attack.
In fact, an FDA panel has said that 83,000 heart attacks have been caused by Avandia, which the AP reports has caused the drug to be pulled from shelves in Europe, has limited its sale in the United States, and has forced GSK to issue new labels.
The South Carolina Attorney General believes that prior to these events, GSK knew or should have known about these risks.
The Avandia lawsuit appears to be part of a series of claims filed against pharmaceutical companies by officials in South Carolina. In fact, just last week the state won a massive judgment against Johnson & Johnson that alleged that it, too, understated the risks of its drug Risperdal.
If true, the Avandia lawsuit is destined to be just as big. The state is requesting $7,000 per violation according to the Associated Press, which will put recovery in the hundreds of millions.